fit to be gold challenge: Sterling Herrington

Sterling Herrington exercises at Gold's Gym on Bobby Jones Expressway. He said his stomach's always been a trouble spot.

AGE: 44



WORK: Senior control room operator

STARTING WEIGHT: 360.6 pounds


WHY PARTICIPATE? "To better my health, life, and be here for my kids and be an example for everybody who thinks they can't do it.

HAVE YOU TRIED TO LOSE WEIGHT IN THE PAST? "I tried different diets or over the counter diet drugs. It really doesn't work out, so it kind of discourages."

WHAT IS YOUR BIGGEST CHALLENGE? "I don't know, really. I'm enjoying it right now because I have a real good trainer. He really motivates me and encourages me in every way. And really the atmosphere around here is great. Even though (other trainers) don't train me, they encourage me and motivate me, and also the staff. Everybody is getting to know my name. That really motivates me a lot."

IS IT HARD TO STAY MOTIVATED? "No. Sometimes, especially being at work when you're around people and they're not eating the same way you're eating. They're eating the things you're used to eating, all the good fried foods and everything. But I do have some people I work with that encourage me. I just think about my health and where I want to be in the future. I want to be a more healthy person so I can live longer and be around."

HOW WILL YOUR LIFE CHANGE AFTER THE COMPETITION? "As far as my everyday activities, including exercise in my daily life and changing my eating habits to being aware of what I'm eating at all times. I'm beginning to adapt to a lot of things now, like don't eat too late, how much to eat, and what to stay away from."

IS THE REGIMEN WHAT YOU EXPECTED? "I kind of expected a little bit more challenge. I don't see any of my competitors but one person. It's different when you don't see anybody. We motivate each other when we see each other. But it makes you wonder how everybody else is doing. It keeps your suspicions high. But I try to concentrate on what I'm doing, and as long as I know I'm progressing, I feel real good about myself. I haven't weighed since the first day. I'm very anxious to see what I weigh now. I can feel the difference in my clothes."

WHAT DO YOU THINK OF YOUR TRAINER? "I think he's the best. At first it was very hard. It's still hard, but I know what the consequences are going to be. He challenges me in every aspect. I'm beginning to work out and feeling muscles I didn't think I had. The push that he gives me and the advice he gives me really helps me out. Some of the things he tells me I never knew about as far as losing weight. I'm not doing it for a short period of time, but for the longevity of it. He gives me a lot of advice on how to go about doing that and keeping it off that way."

HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT THE WORKOUTS? "The workouts have been unbelievable. My personal trainer keeps me focused. We're doing something different all the time. He mixes it up. There are a lot of days I walk out of here and I'm very sore, but I know that in the long run it's going to pay off."

FAVORITE FOOD: "Shrimp. You can eat it boiled or steamed (on the diet)."

THE DIET: "I used to not eat breakfast at all. Now I'm eating breakfast every morning and actually eating five to six meals a day. So that's been a challenge, learning to do that. My trainer put me on a 1,200-calorie diet. He thought that would be best for starting out."


Do what you like

When choosing an exercise, pick something you can enjoy.

"If you don't like it, you're not going to do it. And it is easier to stick with something longterm if it is something you look forward to doing.

Source: Jeff Poole, exercise specialist at University Hospital Heart & Vascular Institute